One reason a lot of people are scared of partnerships is that they invest in them and they believe they’re going to last forever, but let me tell you, a business partnership is not a marriage. Typically, you don’t want to agree to be with somebody forever. You want to agree to be with them for a particular strategic opportunity that you’re filling together. Sometimes that is a longer term relationship.
Perhaps you’re building a business that’s going to last several decades. We’ve certainly seen clients that have successful businesses like this, but many times, you’re just capitalizing on an opportunity. You don’t want to be connected socially or deeply economically. You want to really work together to capitalize on each other’s abilities and make a business deal. That’s why we should often understand that partnerships are for a season. They last a period of time with a beginning and an end, and then everybody goes back to what they’re doing. One person has referred to this as being the Hollywood Model. Actors work together closely with directors, with film crews, with each other, produce a particular film or product, and then they go separate ways. They may work together in the future or they may not, but during the period they’re working together, they are deeply ingrained in extracting economic value and helping each other accomplish their goals. They also have their separate existence and their separate world.
The same can be structured in business partnerships. You can have a separate business and a separate partnership and go your different ways at the end of the season. Everybody wins. By coming into this realistic view of now and the future, you’re able to do more, you’re able to help each other more, and to have better feelings about now and the future. You can structure partnership agreements that really reflect your understanding. By taking this attitude, you also minimize your risk. No longer are you putting all of your eggs into one partnership basket, but you are building your skills and abilities and utilizing the partnership model to monetize it. A lot of great opportunities here.
What’s been your experience with this? Do you see partnerships for a season? Have you taken this view towards your partnerships now and in the past? What’s been your experience? Join us in the comments below and let us know how you deal with partnerships.
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This posting is intended to be a tool to familiarize readers with some of the issues discussed herein. This is not meant to be a comprehensive discussion and additional details should be discussed with your attorneys, accountants, consultants, bankers and other business planners who can provide advice for your circumstances. Each case is unique. Past results do not guarantee future outcomes. This article should not be treated as legal advice to any person or entity. Freeimages.com/photographer Henning W. Smith.
About the Author
R. Shawn McBride is the Chief Innovation Officer at McBride For Business, LLC. His signature keynote, The 3 Laws of Empowerment, gives audiences an entertaining look at how they can prepare, plan and protect themselves. You can email R. Shawn McBride or (214) 418-0258.